Foodie Product Review
"Celebrate the Juice of Life"
CURTIS ANTHONY reviews the Compact Juicer with a bit of help from his family ...
“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon." - Doug Larson.
I've reviewed a lot of things over the years - bands, films, art shows, bars, cafes - and they've pretty much all involved the same thing - Drinking!
So it's come to pass that I find myself reviewing one of Australia's leading juice machines, and once again it involves drinking ... but of a far more wholesome nature.
At least it's a review I can do for the first time with my 3-year-old son, and indeed he was fascinated right from the start. Having grandfathers on either side of his family who are engineers, he's always thrilled at having to put a new toy together. The engineering consciousness skipped a generation though because I've always been a complete non-handyman - suddenly feeling very intimidated by the thought of opening the Compact Juicer box and having to study its manual.
Fortunately it was far easier than I imagined, and even an extreme case like me got my head around it and had it assembled in 10 minutes. Probably for most people, it would take 4 or 5 minutes.
Juicing machines have been on my to-get list for years but I'd always been deterred by the fact that you need to clean them. The fact I've always been deterred by cleaning in general may have had a lot to do with it.
Having entered a new more domesticated life-phase, I've discovered that cleaning does have its benefits - and cleaning the body internally might not be a bad mid-life strategy also.
It's never too late for a detox although a 77-year-old friend, who's smoked since he was 15, has just been told he has emphysema - but he reckons the stress of quitting now might be what kills him - so he'll keep puffing away for another decade or two we predict.
I'd been reading up about the benefits of cold-press juicers, about how the juice produced from them contains living enzymes and nutrients which cease to be there once, for example in fruit or vegetable juice bought in supermarkets or cafes, they enter the pasteurisation process - which according to the science kills around 80% of the nutrients and enzymes.
So while bottled and canned fruit juices nowadays boast "no preservatives", the give-away on the labels is that most of them contain "added Vitamin C". They've had to add the Vitamin C to the "dead" juice because the nutrient value's been almost totally destroyed.
I've been buying bottled juice for years and years and years - and feeling good and healthy about it all along ... just another clueless consumer duped as much by what they don't tell you as what they do.
Not that I'm bitter about such things. The juice always sweetened me up - especially considering that after pasteurisation you're pretty much drinking sugary water.
"Doctors are always working to preserve our health and cooks to destroy it, but the latter are the more often successful." - Denis Diderot.
My preference on this night of reviewing would have been to create a wondrous health tonic of vegetable juice - for which the Compact website does offer a range of recipes. However, with a 3-year-old involved, it was deemed wiser to meet his demands for the taste of his favourite fruit juices: apple, orange and pineapple. Sadly what appeared a beautifully perfect pineapple on the outside turned out to be brown on the inside, leaving us having to include a spare two carrots - themselves dishevelled by time, but edible.
We began sensibly though with an apple and kiwi juice - which my son pounced on with delight. A toy that makes juice!! How joyous he was.
However the joy of the first photo above soon turned to misgivings when for the second round, we made carrot juice. His reaction (second photo above) stunned us, as we had no idea he knew how to turn a noun into an adjective, and suddenly he did it right before our ears: "too carro-tee" he proclaimed, making the word up on the spot and having his mum in fits of laughter.
So for the final round we went straight for a pure orange juice, knowing it to be a certain crowd-pleaser. And my son was taking no prisoners - he insisted on drinking it straight from the rectangular juice container which is included with the Compact Juicer's paraphernalia - he also insisted that the juice not be shared. He got his nose into that container and glugged and glugged and glugged. I had a strong sense at this moment that he was craving whatever perfect nutrients / living enzymes were in this cold-pressed juice that he had been unable to get from the supermarket juices. Though his mother protested that he should not be drinking so much juice so close to bedtime, I felt only sympathy for my dear child, so intent he was on taking this health-giving juice into his being. So when she was out of the kitchen, I let him finish it completely.
A further look over the Compact Juicer manual revealed that this machine will juice just about anything including wheatgrass. It will grind coffee beans, make nut butters, homous, pesto, salsa, dressings, dips, baby food, pasta and frozen desserts. It has a completely separate mincing attachment that will professionally mince meat, chicken and fish as well as a sausage-making nozzle. All good stuff to try out next week - if our son will let us experiment with anything other than the juicing nozzle. Mind you, he loves pasta big-time and his eyes lit up when I said we can make spaghetti and noodles with it.
There are a number of suppliers where you can get the Compact Juicer for a special introductory price of $269 inc gst. The best ones are www.compactjuicer.com.au, www.tohealth.com.au, www.healthstart.com.au and www.ecostore.com.au ... thanks to our friend Masato Kobayashi (pictured below) for taking many of the photos.
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